Wednesday 12/8/21
CORONAVIRUS

Spain plans to close restaurants and nightclubs early due to Covid

The government's goal is to control the new escalation of the epidemic before Christmas
22 November 2021, Spain, Madrid: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, deligvers a speech at the event 'Solidarity vaccination: fulfilling commitments', at La Moncloa. Photo: Jesús Hellín/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, delivers a speech at the event 'Solidarity vaccination: fulfilling commitments', at La Moncloa. Photo: Jesús Hellín/dpa.

Spain is preparing measures such as the earlier closure of bars, restaurants and nightclubs in view of the sharp increase in Covid-19 infections and the growing incidence of the disease. The government's goal is to control the new escalation of the epidemic before Christmas.

With only one month to go until Christmas, the 14-day incidence has tripled compared to a month ago and stood at 132 infections per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday.

Some regions such as Navarra, Aragon and the Basque Country are particularly affected, but there is concern about the evolution of other more populated areas such as Catalonia, where the pressure on hospitals has increased in the past two weeks.

The situation is still far from being as serious as in some countries in central and eastern Europe, but it is increasingly difficult for the authorities to maintain that Spain has escaped this autumn wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

In this context, the Ministry of Health has drafted an update of the risk indicators and the recommended measures for each alert level.

Restaurants, nightclubs

The latest draft of the state strategy suggests making the risk thresholds more flexible, for example raising the low risk level from 50 to 100 cases per 100,000 people. The reason is that the authorities believe that with almost 80% of Spaniards vaccinated, the severity of infections and their health consequences are no longer the same.

In addition, the document proposes limiting the opening hours of bars and restaurants and entertainment venues until 11:00 p.m. and nightclubs until 1:00 a.m. in areas with a medium risk level (with incidents of between 100 and 300 cases or with high occupancy of ICUs).

Inside nightclubs, the new draft also says that customers should wear masks for singing and dancing.

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